Michael Jordan told ESPN that he doesn’t think the NBA season is too long, and he did it in classic M.J. fashion.
After both Dirk Nowitzki and LeBron James called for the NBA to shorten the season on Wednesday, Jordan said that players should be fine with 82 games.
He just doesn’t understand why LeBron and these other guys who want a shorter season don’t love playing basketball as much as he did.
His response (via ESPN):
“I love both of those guys, but as an owner who played the game, I loved playing. If I wasn’t playing 82 games, I still would have been playing somewhere else because that’s the love for the game I had. As a player, I never thought 82 games was an issue.
“But if that’s what they want to do, we as owners and players can evaluate it and talk about it. But we’d make less money as partners. Are they ready to give up money to play fewer games? That’s the question, because you can’t make the same amount of money playing fewer games.”
The general implication: I don’t know why these guys hate basketball so much. I would have played basketball in an empty gym with no one watching if I had to. But I guess if they want to destroy the sound financial health of the league we can talk about that.
By Jordan standards this is some low-grade shade. This is a guy who trash-talked his mentors in his Hall of Fame speech and once asked Bill Clinton if he was going to play from “the little girls’ tees” during a round of golf.
Jordan is just protecting his interests as an owner here. Reducing the season by 15 or 20 games would make the product better, but it’d also be a hit to the league’s revenues, which makes the chances of changing the 82-game season remote.
Jordan could have just said that. But he just couldn’t resist reminding people of his own legendary killer instinct.
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